A Broken System
I really think the time has come for all of us to sit down and have a realistic discussion on the state of our food system.
The reality is that even the simplest of inspections reveal that it is broken beyond repair and needs to be re-thought from bottom to the top.
How can we be sure it is broken? Easy!
Just look at the results.
We have a system that requires long term decimation of the land we use to grow that food so as to achieve short term results.
The longer we keep doing it the more we need to artificially add to the system to prop it up and keep it going.
We need to give it Government subsidies, we need to keep adding more and more poisons, more artificial substances, we need to find cheaper labor markets to exploit and by that I mean people to exploit all in the hope of keeping it going. Really?
Does anyone think this is a good idea and that it is all going to turn out well?
There has always been a commercial aspect to the food system and that has never really been too much of a problem.
However the current system has evolved so that we are no longer looking at a “commercial aspect” to the food system.
We are looking at global commercial monoliths of which our food system has become just one part.
We have literally lost control of it and are tolerating levels of criminality when it comes to our own food!
You may think that calling any of this criminal to be rather an overreaction but I don’t.
If you knowingly put something into my child’s food that is known to be carcinogenic, to be poisonous or to be at least dangerous in some small way then sorry, but I call that criminal.
I especially find it disgusting when it is done for the sake of profit!
One thing has become clear over the past ten years with the rise of the internet.
The backrooms deals keep going on, the legislators keep taking the cash and a lot of nasty stuff keeps happening BUT!
The internet makes it possible to shine a little sunlight on some of these things and if enough people keep discussing it then things can change and systems can be changed.
The Science of Healthy Aging: Living Better, Not Just Longer
More Food Nasty
This is a perfect example of the kind of thing I am talking about in the top post this week regarding the food system being untenable.
The idea of continually feeding antibiotics to animals that are earmarked for human consumption for no reason other than profit is insanity.
How does anyone do that and think it is going to give a good result.
It is so unbelievably stupid yet it is now a common practice.
There are only two benefits from this disgusting behaviour and both are perfect examples of short term gain strategies.
The first is that the animal is less likely to become ill because it is full of antibiotics and thus artificially immune to many common diseases.
From that you increase the chance of the animal attaining full weight and making it to market for maximum profit.
The second is that the animal attains increased growth rates due to a lack of internal “competition” for nutrition.
In other words the number of symbiotic organisms that would normally inhabit the animal so competition for nutrition is reduced and the animal gets to market weight faster.
The downside? Well nobody is looking at that! Hell, look at my bank account.
The downside is that over time the animals become less and less resistant to naturally occurring diseases and infections so the need to use more and more antibiotics occurs.
The existing diseases are continually exposed to the antibiotics so become more and more resistant to those antibiotics ultimately rendering the antibiotics useless against those diseases.
In other words the animal’s natural defenses are bypassed totally.
In addition to that the antibiotics do not leave the food chain and make their way on to out dinner plates meaning that we are now continually taking antibiotics ourselves without even being aware of it.
The diseases we have built up immunity to are exposed and they too become resistant to antibiotic treatment and before too long the idea of using antibiotics to treat infection starts to become useless.
To get a picture of just how widespread this is and the almost complete lack of response to this problem in the U.S is take a look at the article in the link below.
The Definition of Insanity
OK, this week’s tips roundup seems to be turning into an uninterrupted rant but what the hell.
You see I run a business and one of the first things I learned was that when it comes to the actions you are taking in any activity the key indicator in whether it is something you keep or drop are the results.
When one of my guys comes to me with the newest greatest idea ever, I tend to temper things a little with my own experience but then let that idea run if it makes reasonable sense.
After all, it is business and no-one really has a crystal ball!
Anyway, I let it run and I then judge the success or failure of that activity or idea based on the results.
I don’t sit in a room wondering how I feel about the idea or canvas the opinions of others on the idea or have a workshop or weekend retreat where we can all deal with our emotions on the idea.
I just look at the results… what happened.
If the results are good the idea gets adopted and worked further, if the results are poor then we cold heartedly drop it.
So let’s take a look on the current policy of treating the drug problem that is occurring worldwide.
The current policies generally treat just about anything to do with non-medical drug use as a criminal activity.
What are the results?
Well in the U.S. alone there are now about 1.2 million of their own people in jail and around 60% of those are because of victimless drug related crimes. i.e. Personal use, possession, small time stuff.
Has the drug problem gone away? No.
Is the drug problem more or less? More.
So the results are pretty clear.
The “War on Drugs” has not really panned out as a good idea per the results.
So what will happen?
They will keep doing the same stupid stuff over and over expecting a different result… of course!
No Alcohol is Just the Right Amount!
Over the years there have been numerous articles and studies released on the subject of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Whilst the general consensus since there has been an awareness of it that no alcohol is best there have been varying reports on how much can cause danger.
This week over on the Harvard Health blog they published a pretty good article on the subject that tends to wrap up the subject very well.
What they are reporting is that even today the effects of alcohol on an unborn baby are still being researched but what the evolving research is showing is that alcohol is responsible for a whole range of effects previously unknown.
What they are saying is that even though there are some pretty obvious indicators of damage to the fetus in conjunction with moderate alcohol use they are discovering more and more smaller effects physically and behaviourally in children whose mothers only consumed tiny amounts.
Well worth the the read but the bottom line is… NO alcohol during pregnancy.
One of the big temptations when you have to balance a busy work schedule with having kids is the choice you make for breakfast.
Very often lunch and dinner can be dealt with under more calm circumstances but that morning rush can be a killer!
The real danger here is that the big food companies step right in to that space and present you with all sorts of solutions that can really take the stress out of breakfast for the kids (and yourself!)
Unfortunately those very choices that can seem like a saviour at the time are generally pretty poor choices once you take the convenience away and check the back of the box.
I would probably feel pretty safe in saying that any one of these choices is a bad one!
Sweeping statement I know but there you have it.
The only time I have ever been tempted to check them out it only took a few seconds reading the ingredients to be convinced that whatever it was I was looking at was a bad choice.
When it comes to excessive sugar, excessive salt and weird ingredients from a science fiction movie you can’t go past your average breakfast cereal.
Check the link below for a more balanced view.